DOT hopes PH can accept all foreign travelers by April
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) is hoping that the Philippines can accept all foreign travelers by April.
Currently, the country is only accepting travelers from 157 visa-free nations.
“Right now, it’s only for 157 visa-free countries. But, we are hoping that by April, we will be open to all foreigners,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart on Thursday.
Since the country’s borders were reopened on February 10, the DOT has recorded a total of 73,178 tourist arrivals in the country.
Puyat noted that the number is lower compared to pre-pandemic levels, but they were surprised with the figure.
“From February 10 to March 8, we recorded a total of 73,178 tourist arrivals. So, mainly, they’re coming from the [United States], Canada, Korea, Australia, and Japan, and Germany, and Vietnam,” Puyat said.
“It’s not big compared to the pre-pandemic levels because pre-pandemic levels, we had about 8.28 million tourist arrivals for the whole year. But, we were pleasantly surprised,” she added.
The tourism chief said more tourists are expected by June — during the summer breaks of school children, and during the winter months.
Fully vaccinated tourists from the 157 visa-free countries must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and must present a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test taken within 48 hours before departure from the country of origin.
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